Spring Travel Ideas for the Family

Spring Travel Ideas for the FamilySearching for spring travel ideas for the family? If you live up north, then you would surely benefit from the idea of going south. Just like birds, your ideal climate for spring would be the sunny warmth of the beaches of Florida, San Diego California, or even Hawaii. The Caribbean, Mediterranean, Southeast Asian, and Latin American countries also have perfect climates to go swimming. Here are some ideas you might want to consider.

Orlando, Florida
Orlando, Florida has a variety of theme parks that kids, teens, and adults could all enjoy. There’s Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World, and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Orlando is your best bet if you have younger kids. They have this curiosity that the different activities in theme parks will satisfy.


Kauai Surf School, Hawaii
Surf, sun, and sand. Families with older kids on spring break can enroll in group sessions while grandparents have a relaxing read on the shore. For sure, learning to surf is something that your older kids would enjoy as well as seeing their parents getting wiped out.

Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo, Mexico
For those of you who want a laid back vacation, Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo in Mexico can be the perfect place to go. It’s perfect for new parents who want to bring their toddlers along. You could go biking along the nature reserve or have your kids play with the dolphins at Delfiniti Hotel. Afterwards, you can grab a bite of real Mexican enchiladas.

Washington, DC
Drive with your kids to the nation’s capital where the cherry blossoms are in full bloom this season. In fact, if you’re lucky enough, your trip might just be highlighted by the National Cherry Blossom Festival, which commemorates the receipt of Washington of the thousands of cherry blossoms from Tokyo. This is a perfect opportunity for photography enthusiasts to take pictures of the colors of spring.

A cultural and historical tour of the city is also a must. It is rich with museums, monuments, and libraries. In fact, some government buildings like the White House provide guided tours to its visitors.

Club Med, Dominican Republic
Club Med makes it easy for parents to travel with a very young set of children. The oceanfront suites provide you with essentials like bath tubs, baby food, and strollers, and this is what makes the trip worthwhile. There are plenty activities for your pumpkin patch, such as camps and baby gyms where both kids and parents get to spend time with each other.

Liberty of the Seas, A Royal Caribbean Cruise
If you have the luxury of taking a long leave from work, then you should consider going on a cruise. In fact, you might want to take the Royal Caribbean Cruise if you have kids in the college bracket. The ship, Liberty of the Seas, is the largest one in the world and has plenty of athletic activities for them to do. Perhaps it could be your subtle way of telling them to lose a few pounds. Apart from the multitude of dining options, there is a water park, a theatre that offers lessons to the passengers, as well as a deck to lounge on.

Spring break may be tainted with images of wild American college students letting it loose thanks to MTV, but in fact, spring break is one such occasion that can bring a family closer together. Since schools from different states end at different times, not many people go on vacation all at the same time. This means that, compared to its summer and winter counterparts, spring breaks are conducive to sharing quality time with the family when travelling. These spring travel ideas for the family are just a few examples of the many out there. All you have to do is gather your kids, find a place to go, and book your flight.


Yummy St. Patrick’s Day Appetizers

St. Patrick's Day Food AppetizersSt. Patrick’s Day brings with it an inherent need to eat, drink, and be merry, all the while socializing with close friends and family or strangers alike. Some yummy St. Patrick’s Day appetizers can help to ensure your Irish festivities kick off without a hitch. Whether you love corned beef, potatoes, Guinness, or something else entirely, you can certainly find the right spread of Irish appetizers to suit your own preferences as well as tickling the taste buds of all your guests. Before it gets too close to March 17, check out these St. Patrick’s food appetizer ideas to get you started, and then you can worry about festive St. Patrick’s Day drinks to whet your appetite even more!

No matter if your group size is great or small you can put together a delicious selection of Irish apps to enjoy with your green beer or St. Patty’s cocktails. Here are a few fun ideas for delicious St. Patrick’s Day appetizers you can make and enjoy at home or bring with you to someone else’s festivities:

Warm Spinach Dip in a Bread Bowl
Spinach dip is a great party staple and even more appropriate for St. Patrick’s Day. This fun recipe for a spinach dip bread bowl whips up enough servings for 10 to 12 people, making it a great St. Patty’s Day appetizer choice for your Irish lunch or dinner party. Check out the Warm Spinach Dip in a Bread Bowl recipe to ensure your guests have a fun and delicious Irish snack to enjoy at your party.

St. Patrick's Day Food AppetizersIrish Cheese Fondue
As far as interactive and fun St. Patrick’s Day appetizers, don’t forget about a festive Irish cheese fondue setup. You can dip potato wedges, raw veggies, and crusty bread into yummy melted cheese. If you wish, you can expand your Irish fondue experience to include chunks of chicken, beef, or shrimp. For great inspiration, check out this awesome post on Irish Cheese Fondue.

Paddy’s Reuben Dip
Just like the Reuben sandwich, this fun and festive St. Patrick’s Day appetizer features corned beef in a yummy dip that goes great with crackers or chips. Simply pop the ingredients in a slow cooker and serve it as a tasty appetizer or St. Patty’s Day snack. Check out the Paddy’s Reuben Dip recipe to make your own.

Beef & Guinness Stew
This Irish beef stew makes a wonderful addition to your spread of St. Patrick’s Day appetizers. Simmering in dark beer makes the beef and veggies tender and perfect. Cook up a pot of this traditional Irish appetizer for your St. Patty’s Day festivities. Try the recipe for Beef & Guinness Stew just in time for March 17!

Shepherd’s Pie Minis
For a fun spin on a traditional favorite, make your own mini Shepherd’s Pies for St. Patrick’s food appetizers at your next gathering. Simply use the same recipe for Shepherd’s Pie that you normally would and just change the baking dish. Make your Shepherd’s Pie minis in smaller oven-safe soufflé cups or in muffin tins for the perfect appetizer portions. If you use the muffin pans, be sure to put in the cupcake wrappers so your Shepherd’s Pies become mobile enough to move from pan to plate.

What other fun and delicious St. Patrick’s food, appetizers, and snacks do you enjoy this time of year? If you have any other suggestions or thoughts on these St. Patrick’s Day appetizer suggestions, please share your feedback and ideas in our comments below. Also, don’t forget to try some other St. Patrick’s Day cocktails and green drinks for even more fun.


V8 V-Fusion Smoothies Prize Pack Giveaway

V8 Smoothies ContestSpringtime is just about here. The warmer weather is sneaking in and fun, bright colors are popping up around us. V8 V-Fusion Smoothies offer some fun and colorful ways to ensure you get the right servings of your fruits and vegetables each day! Life Love Beauty is teaming up with V8 V-Fusion Smoothies to bring you this incredible giveaway where you have a chance to win each of the three new flavors of V8 Smoothies, as well as a colorful juice bottle and a bright and cheery Vera Bradley Tote!

V8 V-Fusion Smoothies come in three delicious flavors – Strawberry Banana, Mango and Wild Berry, each with a full serving of fruit and a full serving of vegetables in each 8-ounce glass. These drinks are fresh and fun, just like regular smoothies but without the fuss of a blender and all that mess. Each serving is only 130 calories and these drinks contain no added sugar, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

V8 Smoothies ContestPrize: A V8 Smoothies Prize Pack, which includes the three new V8 V-Fusion Smoothie flavors (Strawberry Banana, Mango and Wild Berry), a cool juice bottle so you can enjoy them on the go, and a stylish Vera Bradley tote to carry everything!

Eligibility: Open to residents of the United States (including Hawaii) age 18 and up or age 13 through 17 with written parental permission. One entry per person. All state and local laws apply. Void where prohibited.

Time Frame: Starting Wednesday, March 7 and running until Wednesday, March 14 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Rules: Please note: You MUST follow the rules in entirety to be eligible for a chance to win this contest.

1. Join and confirm your subscription to the Life Love Beauty Newsletter. If you are already a member, skip this step. The winning entry must be verified as a subscriber before the prize is shipped.

2. Add a comment to this post about your Favorite Spring Beauty or Fashion Tip.

How to Win:
• Join our Newsletter list and add a comment to this post with your favorite spring beauty or fashion tip.
• No purchase necessary. You have not yet won.
• Winner will be contacted via e-mail, and the will be added to the list of winners posted on LifeLoveBeauty.com following verification.


Low Calorie and Low Effort Saint Patrick’s Day Cocktails

St Pat DrinksSaint Patrick’s Day cocktails are a must for your St. Pat’s celebration this year, especially since the feted holiday happens to fall on a weekend. Saturday, March 17 marks a favorite holiday for many people, with hues of green, aromas of corned beef and cabbage, and parades and Irish festivals spanning as far as the eye can see. Be sure your St. Patrick’s Day weekend is complete with fun St. Pat drinks that you can mix up at home minus the guilt.

No matter if you plan to spend St. Patty’s Day at home or out at a bar or club, you can still find time to enjoy a cocktail or two before your festivities kick off. Try these low-calorie St. Patrick’s Day cocktails and pre-made cocktail mixes as the main focus or an easy way to pregame and give your holiday weekend a special kick!

Fun and Festive St. Pat Drinks
Try these delightful low-calorie cocktails, just in time for Saint Patrick’s Day!

Saint Patrick's Day CocktailsThe Ferguson

1.5 oz Voli lemon
.75 oz apple pucker
2 fresh lemon squeezes
Glass: Rocks

1.    Combine all ingredients.
2.    Top with soda.
3.    Add an apple slice for garnish.

Approximate Calories: 118 Calories

Luck of the Irish

Saint Patrick's Day Cocktails1.5 oz Voli Raspberry Cocoa
1 oz fresh lime juice
.5 oz agave nectar
Glass: Highball

1.    In a mixing tin, add ice, Voli Raspberry Cocoa, lime juice, agave, and shake.
2.    Strain into a glass with ice.
3.    Garnish with mint sprig.

Approximate Calories: 120

Get Lucky

St Pat DrinksIngredients:
1.5 oz Voli LYTE or Voli Lemon
1/2 fresh lime
8 mint leaves
1 packet sweetener
Club soda
Glass: Highball

1.    Muddle lime, mint and sweetener.
2.    Add Voli, shake lightly, and pour all ingredients in a glass.
3.    Top with club soda.
4.    Add a mint sprig for garnish.

Approximate Calories: 85 calories

Tip – For a fun twist, consider adding fruits to this, such as blueberries, strawberries, kiwi, red berrie, or mango.

Pot of Gold

Saint Patrick's Day Cocktails MartiniIngredients:
2 oz Voli Lyte
.5 oz Elderflower syrup or liqueur
4 chunks cucumber (inch thick)
8 fresh mint leaves
Ginger beer
Glass: Martini

1.    Muddle cucumber and mint. Add Voli and elderflower.
2.    Shake and strain then top with ginger beer.
3.    Garnish with cucumber wheel and mint.

Approximate Calories: 178 calories

For more information about Voli Light Vodkas, please see http://www.volispirits.com.

VnC Cocktails “Leprechaun’s Gold”
St Patty's Day DrinksThis pre-made cocktail mix features premium New Zealand vodka, mint and lime juice – a fun Mojito Margarita combo that fits the bill for the festivities of St. Patty’s Day. VnC Cocktails are all natural, free from preservatives, and designed for the ultimate convenience without sacrificing taste. VnC Cocktails “Leprechaun’s Gold” has only 150 calories or less, making it a guilt-free choice for your St. Pat’s celebration. For more information, please see http://www.vnccocktails.com.

What other drinks do you enjoy for St. Patrick’s Day? Consider making your own St. Pat’s cocktails as a fun and festive tradition you can enjoy year after year. Here are a few additional St. Patrick’s Day drinks to consider. Please feel free to share any other ideas in our comments below.


Weekend Beauty Ideas to Enjoy at Home or Away

Weekend Beauty IdeasThe weekend is a wonderful time to enjoy some “me time,” whether it’s dabbling in weekend beauty ideas just by yourself or time shared with some of your best girl friends. Weekend beauty ideas can be quick and simple or daring and quite involved. Here is a list of fun beauty ideas you can try on the weekend, no matter if you are at home or wanting to go out for the day to enjoy some pampering.

Weekend beauty ideas can fit any budget, from a simple at-home manicure or pedicure to an extravagant, daylong visit to the spa with your best friends. Before you get too involved in your beauty plans, first determine a budget and stick to it. You can also ask your friends to bring various supplies to cut down on costs, if you plan to try your weekend beauty ideas at home.

At-Home Weekend Beauty Ideas
Consider these fun and relaxing weekend beauty ideas you can enjoy in the comfort of your home:
•    Enjoy an at-home mani / pedi with a foot spa or tub for a nice foot soak.
•    Do your own nail art for your nails and your friends.
•    Try facial mud masques for a great way to invigorate your skin. Don’t forget the cucumber slices!
•    Make your own facial masques using natural ingredients, fruits, vegetables, and the like.
•    Take turns giving each other makeovers using your favorite makeup products.
•    Try a bold and daring new hair color using a box of hair dye at home.

Extravagant Weekend Beauty Ideas
Check out these beauty ideas for a weekend at the spa or other fun location:
•    Head to the salon to get your nails done – mani / pedi or whatever you like.
•    Get your hair and makeup done with a few close friends before going out on the town for girls’ night!
•    Sign up for massages and then grab a bite to eat once you are finished and feeling great.
•    Try one of the other spa treatments like professional facials or a body wrap.
•    Get a new haircut, hair color, or other style you can enjoy.

In addition to the fun weekend beauty activities above, you can also take the time to ensure your hair and makeup look perfect for whatever your weekend plans have in store. Consider darker eyeliner, sparkly eye shadow, and mascara that makes no mistake about your long and luxurious lashes. Finish your look with some lip balm, lip gloss, or lipstick and voila – you are ready for a fun night out with the girls or with the guy of your dreams.

Weekends give you lots of time to primp and prep yourself for a fun evening or even a date with your sweetheart. If you are in the mood for some fun weekend beauty ideas, consider these above or share your favorite ideas in our comments below.


It’s Not Too Late to Make Good on those Resolutions!

Let Your Spirituality Be Your Guide, Says Noted Doctor

The New Year is already well under way. Job deadlines – or job searching – has begun anew, and the stresses of bills, kids in school again, and the sometimes endless treadmill of daily life can make us forget those New Year’s resolutions we made not so very long ago.

Physician and healer Amnon Goldstein, who has earned an international reputation for his practice of both Western and Eastern medicines, says it’s time to slow down and re-evaluate.

“You’ve heard it said before and you know it in your heart, but it’s the external pressures that leave us feeling stressed, depressed, disappointed and overwhelmed,” says Goldstein. “Add to that the lingering economic troubles, families in flux and all of us working harder just to maintain our standard of living and it’s easy to forget the most person to take care of first is – you.”

Those resolutions to exercise more, eat healthier foods, meditate or otherwise tend to spiritual needs, they should be priorities, Goldstein says. They will ensure you’re stronger, happier, and better able to manage the external pressures, maybe even with a smile.

Quiet contemplation and a focus on spiritual growth – no matter one’s religion or beliefs – will lead to a clearer vision of how to accomplish the goals set for this year, Goldstein advises.

“Spirituality is no longer linked only to religion,” says Goldstein, the author of the recently released book Screwed: The Path of a Healer, a title that reflects the twisting nature of his global journeys as a healer and his own experiences with depression, divorce and illness.

“More and more people understand that they must nurture both body and spirit, which is why they make the sorts of resolutions they do. No matter how difficult your life, it will become easier and more joyful if you keep to those goals.”

Israeli-born Goldstein has practiced medicine around the world using conventional Western, traditional Eastern and less-familiar spiritual and mystical methods. In Screwed, he chronicles the path to wellness, understanding and enlightenment, a journey that takes the traveler to unexpected places.

Goldstein has known the horrors of war, witnessed the birth of new nations and experienced the mysterious healing powers of unconventional medicine. As a physician he has explored unconventional approaches to age-old physical and mental health challenges, embracing an over-arching philosophy that a life well-lived is not one which follows a straight or uncomplicated path.

Goldstein advocates proper nutrition as the basis for good health (no overeating, no dairy, no sugar), and exercise and meditation as the foundation of healthy living.

“We can live healthier and more fulfilled lives by looking inward,” Goldstein says. “Most of us will find that we have everything we need to celebrate the holidays in one form or another – either a healthy family, a warm home or some aspect of our lives that brings meaning. Expectation of perfection at this time of the year is toxic to our minds and spirits. Every healing is self-healing, but we need to take the time in the midst of our busy lives to take care of ourselves.”

About the Expert:

Amnon Goldstein, M.D. is a physician with more than 40 years of experience in conventional Western medicine and holistic and Eastern medicine. He has specialized in trauma care, vascular surgery and hypnosis, and has done in-depth study into the evolution of HIV and cancer research and treatments. A resident of Florida, Dr. Goldstein retired from medicine but continues to travel the world, learning, teaching and sharing with others the healing powers within each person. He is the father of three grown children.


Maybelline Lash Stiletto Ultimate Length Mascara Product Review

Maybelline Lash Stiletto Ultimate Length MascaraI recently needed a new, waterproof brownish black mascara and happened upon a Maybelline sale at my local CVS. I saw the opportunity to try a new product when my usual brownish black mascara wasn’t available on the shelf, so I picked up a tube of Maybelline Lash Stiletto Ultimate Length Mascara in Brownish Black. The product claims to offer up to 70% longer lashes with a shiny, patent finish. Here’s my personal review of this waterproof brownish black mascara.

First things first, my eyelashes are not as long and luxurious as I would like, so I really count on my mascara to do the job for me. I have to say, the first coat of this mascara left a lot to be desired in my humble opinion. Of course, I rarely if ever apply only one coat of mascara, so I can’t completely judge this product on its initial coverage. I applied three coats to reach my desired volume and length, and the finished result was acceptable to me.

The Grip & Extend brush is designed to grasp each lash and coat it from every angle for the best possible coverage, length, and shine. The instructions say to continue building lashes until you reach your desired look, and not to let the coats dry between application. I am not sure if I applied the mascara quickly enough, but I did eventually get the coverage I was looking for with this product.

Where I think Maybelline Lash Stiletto Ultimate Length Mascara excels is the fact that it is very waterproof, great for long-term wear, and seems to be fully smudge-proof. I have found faults with other waterproof mascara before, so this is a huge plus for me, especially since I need to take a tube or two of waterproof mascara on vacation with me in a few days.

Maybelline Lash Stiletto Ultimate Length Mascara removed fairly easily with my normal makeup remover wipes. This product is safe for contact lens wearers and has been ophthalmologist tested. I believe it retails for around $9 or so, but you may be able to find a coupon in your Sunday paper or at least watch for the deals at your favorite drugstore, mass market retailer, or online at Amazon.com.


Tax Time Tips for Stress-free Filing

Tax time always seems to sneak up on us when we are busy worrying about other things. The good news is you get an extra two days to file this year. The bad news is, there is still never enough time to file, as far as busy professionals and business owners are concerned. Don’t let too much time pass before you get yourself organized for filing your taxes. Whether you owe money or you’ll be getting a rebate back, it is important to take the time to make sure all your financial ducks are in a row. Consider these helpful tax time tips to get you off on the right foot when it comes to filing your taxes this year.

Andrea Woroch, consumer and money-saving expert for Kinoli Inc., shares the following tax season tips to help you get the most out of your tax filing experience, from deductions to how to spend your refund (here’s to hoping we all get one!).

1. Identify Your Deductions.
“Before you start number crunching, be sure you know what expenses to write off; you don’t want to miss out on a single tax-deductable expense,” Woroch says. “The list is quite long, so take the time to read it thoroughly and highlight anything that applies to you. You can find the Top 500 Itemized Deductions on the IRS website.”

2. Organize, Organize, Organize.
Andrea Woroch recommends organizing your receipts and other documentation by category to make it easier when filing. This can make the entire process easier when you go to document everything from business lunches to corporate travel and office supplies, among countless other tax deductible expenses.

3. Keep Track of Your W2s.
According to federal law, employers must send W2s to their employees no later than the last day of January each year. In cases where you can’t find or didn’t receive your W2, Woroch recommends contacting your company’s HR department or your supervisor immediately to ensure you get a new copy. She then recommends filing immediately once you receive the W2.

4. Find Discounts for Software.
If you plan to prepare your own taxes rather than enlisting the help of a tax pro, be sure you have the right tax software geared up and ready to go. You can find great deals on tax software and even tax preparation services at deal and discount websites like CouponSherpa.com, CouponSnapshot.com, and Retailmenot.com.

5. Save on Professional Help.
Sometimes you can find discounts for professional tax help as well. If you own your own business, it may behoove you to engage a tax pro to file your taxes. This can often reduce the chances of an audit. Keep watch for discounts on tax services during the beginning of the year to help you save money on taxes, and don’t forget to deduct the cost of filing with your tax pro if you are a business entity.

6. Analyze Your Refund.
“It’s tough to compete with the glee of receiving a hefty tax return, but not owing anything to the IRS is the sweetest gift of all,” says Woroch. “If your withholdings are too high, you’re missing out on monthly income. If they’re too low, you’re living the high life until an abrupt wake-up call on April 15. Ultimately, you want to break even with Uncle Sam, so use the IRS Withholding Calculator to determine the optimal deduction from your paycheck.”

7. Spend Your Refunds Wisely.
Some of the top ways to spend your tax time refund may include paying down debt, saving for a rainy day, donating to charity, and adding to your emergency nest egg. You may want to spend the money on vacation or a special purchase for yourself – just be sure the rest of your finances are in order before doing so.

What other tax time tips and suggestions do you have to share? Please leave a comment with your favorite tax tip or advice to help all of our readers get ready to file their taxes.

About the Expert:
Andrea Woroch is a consumer and money-saving expert for Kinoli Inc. As a nationally recognized media source, Andrea has been featured among top news outlets such as Good Morning America, NBC’s Today, MSNBC, New York Times, Kiplinger Personal Finance, CNNMoney and many more. For more information, please see http://www.andreaworoch.com.


Review of Thinking of You® Eau de Parfum by Mary Kay

Mary Kay Thinking of You Eau de Parfum ReviewFor a light and refreshing perfume option that carries a fine blend of fragrances, consider Thinking of You by Mary Kay. This fragrance for women seems perfect for springtime and summertime, offering a soft and sexy twist in a light scent that lingers beautifully. I received a bottle of Mary Kay’s Thinking of You Eau de Parfum for the purpose of this review and I am pleased to say I believe I will be adding this scent into my regular rotation.

To give you some background, other perfumes and fragrances that I tend to wear (or have worn in the past) and like include “Very Sexy” by Victoria’s Secret (my current fragrance of choice), Curve, Dreams by Taboo, Butterfly by Mary Kay (from YEARS ago), and assorted fragrances by Bath and Body Works. I feel as though this fragrance fits nicely in the same vein as these other fragrances that I enjoy wearing or have worn in the past.

Product documentation for Thinking of You Eau de Parfum says, “The message in this bottle is all about relationships and celebrating them with a gift that turns a moment into a memory.” I have to agree that memories and special relationships do ring a bell for me with this fragrance. Something about it reminds me of earlier days, back when I was in college and around the time I met my husband. All great memories!

The notes in this fragrance are described as both fruity and “floriental,” a new word for me, but one that makes great sense when you take in the scent of Thinking of You. The perfume comes in a fancy box that leaves room for a handwritten note while the perfume’s bottle has a small heart charm adornment that can be affixed to a piece of jewelry if you like.

Mary Kay’s Thinking of You Eau de Parfum retails for $30 for a 1 oz. bottle. Contact your Mary Kay representative or order yours online at MaryKay.com or Amazon.com.



Fun Baby Shower Games and Activities

If you are planning a baby shower want to keep the guests busy and the party interactive, consider planning some fun baby shower games and activities for everyone to enjoy. No matter if you are having a grand scale shower at a special venue or a more intimate shower at someone’s home, you can still find a great balance of baby shower activities and games to play with all the guests. Here are a few of our favorite baby shower games and activities.

Before you get started with this aspect of shower planning, remember that some baby shower activities require more advanced planning than others. That said, let’s take a look at some of the fun options out there to spice up your baby shower!

Onesie Decorating
Buy an assortment of plain onesies and a selection of puffy paint or fabric pens. Be sure to get different colored fabric markers or puffy paint and different sizes in the onesies. Set everything up on a table and allow guests to decorate the onesie of their choice with a fun saying or a pretty picture. Take digital pictures of guests with the onesies they created or have them put their name somewhere so the mom-to-be will know which artist created each design. Tip: You can also find plain maternity tank tops and t-shirts that guests can decorate as well!

Baby Shower Gift BINGO
Make up a blank BINGO card where guests can write in a different gift idea in each box. The center square is “free.” Give each table a few sheets of tiny stickers, BINGO markers, or regular markers so they can keep track of their correct answers. When any guest gets BINGO, you can offer that guest the prize of her choice. You can accept as many guests as you like. This can be a lot of fun with very little maintenance, and it will encourage great interaction as the more competitive guests get a little more vocal. Have fun!

String around the Belly
Let each guest cut a piece of yarn or string as long as they think the mom-to-be’s belly might be. Then use a real tape measure to measure around her tummy for the actual length. The guest or guests with the closest measurements win.

Guess How Many?
Place baby shower themed candy in a glass jar or vase and ask guests to guess how many pieces. Be sure you already know the answer! Tally up the votes and award the jar of candy to the guest with the closest guess. I’ve also seen this done with unwrapped tootsie rolls and a newborn diaper around the bottom of the glass jar. It all depends on your personal preferences and what you think the mom-to-be would like best.

Guess What Age?
Add a nice selection of photos of the mom-to-be to a piece of cardboard and label each photo with a number or letter. Give guests a sheet of paper with a “word bank” of ages and then have a list numbered or lettered the same as the images on the poster board. Guests have to guess how old the guest of honor was in each photo, and the guest with the most correct answers wins. Some pictures will be easier than others, for example, First Holy Communion, graduation, and possibly even wedding day. The guests who know the mom’s birthday will probably have the best shot at getting the most correct answers. For the benefit of your most special guests, try to include a few personal photos of the mom-to-be with her grandmother, best friend, husband, siblings, and other special friends and family members.

Baby Animal Trivia
Put together a worksheet with different animals and blank lines next to each. Have the guests guess the name of the animal’s baby; for example, joey for kangaroo, puppy for dog, kitten for cat. You can also ask a few random trivia questions about baby animals, such as the longest gestation, shortest gestation, and so forth. You can award a prize for the guest or guests with the most correct answers.

What other baby shower games and activities can you think of or which ones have you played or done at a shower recently? Share your favorites in our comments below so that all readers can benefit from the clever and creative ideas you’ve already experienced.


Boots Amazon Forest Mango & Babassu Body Butter Review

For a fun and tropical scent that leaves your skin feeling moist and hydrated, consider Amazon Forest Mango & Babassu Body Butter by Boots. This peach colored body cream is rich and emollient, carrying a delightful fragrance that lingers with tropical delight. I enjoyed testing this thick body lotion on my knees, elbows, legs, and hands.

On first impression, the potent fragrance captures your attention and makes a pleasant memory of unforgettable, exotic vacations come to life all over again. Boasting ingredients straight from the Amazon region, Boots Amazon Forest Mango & Babassu Body Butter contains mango butter to soften your skin’s texture and babassu oil to moisturize your skin over time. The body butter is rich and creamy – the perfect texture for moisturizing dry skin and smoothing out rough spots.

Product documentation says this product comes from the seeds of the mango plus oils from the babassu palm. For best results, apply and gently massage this body butter to your skin following a bath or shower. You may need to apply again after some time has passed for continued skin moisturization, but overall, I found the Mango & Babassu Body Butter to be a pleasant product for daily use.

I received a 6.6 oz. tub of Boots Amazon Forest Mango & Babassu Body Butter for the purpose of this review. I greatly enjoy the fragrance as well as the results and recommend this product to anyone looking for a tropical burst of fragrance that will also leave skin feeling soft, smooth, and moisturized. Mango & Babassu Body Butter retails for about $10 per tub and is available for sale on Amazon and at Target, among other retailers.


Pink and Orange Baby Bedroom and Nursery Themes for Little Girls

Cocalo Tropical Punch Baby BeddingMy husband and I are expecting our first baby – a little girl due in the beginning of May. We’ve been struggling over choosing furniture, and a baby bedding set, and painting the baby’s room, and all the other things that go along with your first child. Thankfully we finally narrowed down all the baby bedding options and selected our top two picks.

I am a big fan of the raspberry pink and orange color combination. I had hot pink and orange flowers in my wedding and I still enjoy the color combo very much. While looking for this combination, I found several pink and orange baby bedding sets and patterns that we liked a lot. In case you are also looking for pink and orange baby bedding for your little girl, I’m going to share my favorites out of the styles and patterns that I found.

Cocalo Tropical Punch Baby BeddingCocalo Tropical Punch Baby Bedding
This set is definitely my favorite and I’ve added it to our baby registry. I was originally looking for a cute koala theme for the baby’s room, just because my husband and I like koalas, and I stumbled upon this cute bedding set called Tropical Punch almost accidentally. I love that it has a cute mama and baby koala predominantly on a lot of the accessories, but also has an elephant, zebra, and others. All the animals are very cute, and the color combination of pink, orange, and cream looks awesome together.

You can get this pink and orange nursery bedding set at a number of retailers, including Amazon.com where you can find many different accessories as well. Look for the koala pillow, Sherpa blanket, and child’s lamp for a few examples.

JoJo Designs Pink and Orange Butterflies Baby BeddingJoJo Designs Pink and Orange Butterfly Bedding
We also included this pink and orange baby bedding set on our baby registry as a backup in case we weren’t 100% sold on the first set. The more we looked at it, the more my husband and I both liked it. This set has a cute butterfly pattern in a bright pink and orange and white color scheme. There are many accessories that go along with the JoJo Designs Butterfly set as well, including a baby hamper, changing pad cover, and diaper stacker, to name just a few. This set is very cute for a girlie girl and gives you the option to paint your walls a different color other than pink.

JoJo Designs Pink and Orange Surf Baby BeddingJoJo Designs Pink and Orange Tropical Hawaiian Surf Bedding
This originally was one of my top two picks for pink and orange nursery bedding sets, but my husband didn’t like it as much as the other two. I think the colors were just a bit too bold and in-your-face for him, plus I wasn’t exactly sold on the surfboard. I really love the hibiscus designs and palm trees but could do without the surf stuff. However, this Pink and Orange Hawaiian Surf set is still adorable and may be a nice fit for lots of babies since they may not grow out of it quite as quickly as with some of the other baby girl nursery patterns.

Hula Baby by Trend Lab Baby BeddingTrend Lab Hula Baby Pink, Green, and Orange Baby Bedding
This set called “Hula Baby” by Trend Lab fell to the bottom of my pink and orange baby bedroom themes list, but only because I liked the other patterns so much more, not by any fault of its own. This set is very cute and simple – I just liked the versatility of the pink and orange baby animals set and the butterflies and the Hawaiian surf set. This baby bedroom set offers a lovely pink and green color combo with white and orange accents – a fresh and fun color combo for any baby girl’s room. Tropical flowers bedeck the bedding and pink and green stripes set off the pattern nicely.

These just happened to be my favorite pink and orange baby bedding sets out of all the research I did – they are by no means the only sets for you to consider. I was looking for cute baby animals and tropical or Hawaiian themes for the baby as well, so these sets seemed to nicely complement the color combination I wanted as well as the nursery theme I was hoping to find.

I am pleased to mention that we also selected “Luminary” by Behr (Home Depot paint) and painted the baby’s room this weekend. We still have a little painting for the trim and closet and also need to get our furniture, but we are off to a lovely start as far as I’m concerned. The Luminary paint color is a gorgeous peach that has a very soft orange hue – I am so excited to see the baby’s room when it’s all done, especially once we get the perfect pink and orange baby bedding set!